1989 DEVELOPMENT RELATED RIDERSHIP STUDY II
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This study, the Development - Related Ridership Survey II, is the second in a series sponsored by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The first study conducted by JHK & Associates was completed in March 1987. The data collection for this study was collected during March and April 1989. The purposes of the studies were to study travel behavior of persons travelling to and from residential and commercial developments around Metrorail stations and to establish relationships among travel characteristics, distance, and the nature of development at each site. The studies consisted of surveys of persons travelling to and from office buildings, residential developments, retail sites and hotels near Metrorail stations. The first study surveyed 34 building sites, this study surveyed 38 buildings, 13 of which were repeated from the first study.
This executive summary highlights the key findings and conclusions from the Development-Related Ridership Surveys. The details of the procedures and results are discussed in the body of the report. A summary of observations is presented below, beginning first with general observations, followed by conclusions relating to each of the land use types.
The choice of mode for trips to and from any type of land use is influenced by many factors. This study confirmed the findings of the first study, that the most significant and readily used factors for planning purposes are:
The location of the site within Metropolitan Washington.
The proximity of a building to a Metrorail station entrance.
Significant transit mode shares were recorded for all land uses.
Transit users reported almost as many linked trips as auto users.
Origin destination pairs heavily influence the propensity to take transit. Poor transit accessibility at either end of the trip results in poor transit ridership between those pairs.
Based on the response to attitudinal questions an average of 28% of all respondents hold the perception that information regarding the transit system (rail and bus) and schedules is not readily available.
Observations on Office Development
Transit mode share for offices ranged from under 10% in some suburban settings to over 50% in the downtown. In general it was found that the residences of employees was spread throughout the region, with employees who cross jurisdictional lines more inclined to use transit than those who live and work within the same jurisdiction.
The transit mode share for residential buildings surveyed in this study ranged from 30 to over 70% The sites surveyed included both rented and owner occupied. Auto ownership was found to be significantly lower at all sites surveyed as compared to the regional average, which is 1.93 autos per household.
All of the retail sites surveyed had significant transit mode share. In general, it appears that transit mode share to retail sites has increased over the two year period between studies. In contrast to the first study, this study found that transit mode share to retail sites was often higher at a given metrorail station than the transit mode share to office buildings at that station.
Like retail sites, hotels showed a significant increase in the transit mode share when compared to the first study. Hotel trip generation rates vary from day to day more so than other land uses.
Several land use and transportation factors are critical to making the best possible use of the transit system. These include:
• Locating the types of uses that tend to generate the most transit trips in the Metrorail station areas.
• Locating these land uses in close proximity to stations with good access to the station portals.
• Providing high density land development around Metrorail stations, including suburban stations.
• Providing convenient walk and feeder bus access to the stations to expand the transit market.
In general mixed development at each station area is the most desirable in terms of reducing overall vehicle trips. However, the development in a corridor as a whole should be considered, as well as development at individual stations. Variations from station to station along a rail line appear to maximize ridership on a daily basis. The study also found that in general sensitivity to the distance from the station portal varies by land use, office developments being the most sensitive and residential developments the least sensitive. This suggests that office development is best suited to areas immediately adjacent to the station. However, exceptions to this may occur for specific uses such as destination retail.
Development of the station areas is only one component of overall planning that is required in order to maximize transit ridership. Transit service and station access to and from lower density development is also critical.
Adequate road networks must be constructed in conjunction with the development of station areas. Poor road networks not only create a negative image of station areas but also restrict the transit market to relatively tight areas surrounding the station. People will not use Metrorail if they must fight congestion to reach the station.
Marketing must be targeted at individual station areas to provide those who live, work, or shop in these areas specific information about the system and how they can use it.
Development of any type tends to be controversial. There are pros and cons that must be weighed. It is clear, however, that the limited supply of developable land and the fixed nature of the Metrorail system make development .decisions around rail stations particulary critical. These decisions must be lived with for years to come and therefore must be made with a long-term view. One locational benefit, for example, is that a 200,000 square foot office being considered for development in the suburbs could achieve an annual reduction of some 500,000 vehicle mile11 of travel by locating near a Metrorail Station.
It is inevitable that the Washington area will grow. Careful attention to how it grows, particulary in areas served by Metrorail, will reap major benefits in optimizing the use of the existing and future regional transportation system
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